Chipotle Steak Tacos with Caramelized Onions

posted in: Beef, Main Dish, Tex-Mex        date:

Chipotle Steak Tacos with Caramelized Onions

My cast iron skillet is one of my most used kitchen tools. Eric’s mom gave it to me a couple years ago, and I imagine I’ll be giving it to my son or daughter some day. They last forever, and no kitchen is complete without one. This one has served me well in the time I’ve had it, and some of my favorite recipes have been made in it. This one, which Eric and I have made several times now, can certainly be added to that list of favorites. The marinade only requires one ingredient, and chances are we have everything we need to make this at any given time.

These tacos are so simple to make that we spend more time making the homemade chips and salsa than we do cooking this meal. The tacos are smoky and spicy, but the goat cheese helps to tone down the heat just a bit. And while caramelized onions aren’t something I think of as typically going with tacos, they are the perfect accompaniment to these. My only minor complaint with this recipe is that my eyes water like crazy when we’re cooking the steak. A steak covered in chipotles and then placed in a hot skillet is certain to smoke, so just be aware of that and open the windows before you start cooking. This steak is incredibly flavorful on its own, but Eric and I still like to add some chipotle and tomatillo salsa just to up the flavor (and heat).

Chipotle Steak Tacos with Caramelized Onions

  • YIELD: 4 servings
  • 4-5 chipotles in adobo

  • 1 pound skirt or flank steak

  • 3 tablespoons canola, divided

  • 2 medium onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick

  • 12 warm corn tortillas

  • Coarse salt

  • Goat cheese

  • Salsa for serving, optional

  • 1

    Puree the chipotles in a small food processor until smooth. Rub each side of the steak with the chipotles and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or on the counter for 30 minutes.

  • 2

    Heat oven to the lowest setting (or a warm setting, if you have one). In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, heat two tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden but not completely caramelized, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and keep in the oven until ready to serve.

    Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the steak in the skillet and cook to your desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare skirt steak and 5 minutes per side for medium-rare flank steak. Remove from skillet and allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and toss with the onions. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Serve with the warmed tortillas, goat cheese and salsa.

COMMENTS: ( 11 )
  • I had something very similar to this in one of my fav mexican restaurants here in Raleigh. It had so much flavor and I don’t usually do steak tacos for some reason. This sounds fabulous though – will have to try it!

  • I love how simple the flavors are!

  • Definitely sounds like something I would enjoy! I also love my cast iron skillet. In fact, I just received a new one from Amazon yesterday because I accidentally ruined my old one (my fault alone). 🙂 Once I tossed it, I made sure I ordered a new one asap because I use it so often!

  • Amy

    I so need to get on the cast iron skillet train. Lagging a bit on it 🙁 These tacos look fantastic! Rob hates it when I make tacos at home, however, I think since these are steak with goat cheese, he may be more open.

  • These look fantastic! This is one of the first recipes I bookmarked when I got Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday, but I still have yet to make it! I was all-set to make it when my boyfriend suddenly started having issues with spicy food- how spicy would you say this is, in your opinion? I may just have to cook it for myself!!

  • These look fabulous. What a different flavor combination for tacos! I’ve got some goat cheese leftover in the fridge. Getting this one onto a menu plan very soon!

  • kyleen

    This looks delicious! The combination of steak, chipotle, goat cheese, caramelized onions sounds great.

  • Wow! This looks so good and I’m a bit hungry reading the recipe. YUM!

  • kim


  • Adding this to my menu plan this week- looks great!


  • Adding this to my menu plan this week- looks great!